Ten Steps to Take When Returning to College as a Working Adult

Returning to college as a working adult is challenging whether you’re making a career switch or upgrading your current skills. Here are ten steps you should take in the process of continuing your education:

1. Plan your future. Sit down and think about the career you wish to pursue. What subjects interest you, and how can you develop skills that are applicable to future job prospects? Make sure you take college courses and work toward a degree that will help you get a job in a field you enjoy. Contact academic advisors to pinpoint your goals and clarify what you want to get out of your educational experience.

2. Clarify your goals. Think long-term about what you want to achieve by returning to college as an adult. Where do you see yourself in a few years?

3. Research colleges. This is one of the most important steps to take before you go back to school. The right college for you will make your school experience a successful one. Look into state and community colleges, technical colleges, and private universities. Which types of colleges offer the classes you need on a schedule that fits with your current job and home life obligation?

4. Look at college websites. Peruse the information provided by the colleges in which you’re interested to find out more about campus life and the programs being offered.

5. Organize your schedule. If you have a family and job to think about on top of school, organizing your life will make the transition and the workload easier to handle.

6. Learn to manage your time. Plan study times and stick to the plan no matter what. Cut down on non-essential tasks while you complete your studies. Accept that things around the house don’t have to be perfect. You will need clear priorities to balance job, home, and college life.

7. Arrange for extra help. If you have children, research childcare availability and cost ahead of time so you can have more time for studying.

8. Research healthcare options. If you quit your job to return to college, losing access to adequate healthcare coverage can cause problems if a health issue crops up while pursuing your studies. Purchase health insurance for peace of mind.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When you need help or have a few concerns, don’t hesitate to voice your thoughts and ask a college for career guidance.

10. Ask for support. Talk to friends and family about your plans to return to college and get as many people to help as possible. You can better deal with a heavy work load when you have the ones you love cheering you along the way.

When you’re ready, visit Cappex to search for colleges that are right for you.